Thoughts On…Reboots

The 80’s and 90’s were a great time to be heavily influenced by TV/Toyline combinations. Ninja Turtles. Power Rangers. Ghostbusters. All-conquering franchises that shaped millions of childhoods. They all have something in common.

They’ve all been rebooted. And people have been angry about it.

But why? Why accuse someone or ‘raping your childhood? It’s a little bit dramatic isn’t it? Admittedly, I’m probably preaching to the choir here. But I have a position on this, and I’d like to explain it.

Remaking or retelling stories is as old as time. As long people have seen a way to a) improve them, b) fit their agenda, or c) make money from them it will happen. Unfortunately a large, or should I say loud, section of people haven’t clocked this. What this leads to is a false ownership. These people feel entitled and protective over this thing that is theirs. So how dare someone come in and take it from them! How dare they change it!

Specifically in relation to cinema and TV, rebooting has become a very common thing. From Batman to Jack Ryan, there are many versions of the same character or story. Each time they’re released, ‘fans’ scream bloody murder about how their thing has been somehow tainted or disrespected. Even level-headed people are drawn into comparing new and old. It’s only natural.

But there’s something we need to keep in mind. Despite any noises a well-meaning cast and crew may make, these reboots aren’t for us.

And that’s a good thing.

I’ve got fantastic memories of bustin’ ghosts, wearing my Leo bandanna around shopping centres and shouting “Triceratops” at the top of my lungs in the playground. But as much as I might still embrace mine and actively enjoy those things, my childhood has passed.

Why not just let newer generations of kids have their own version and rather than decry it, enjoy it with them? I can’t wait to share TMNT with my daughter. They’ll look different and I probably won’t agree with some of the choices but we would be able to share something. How awesome would that be?

The new Power Rangers film did a great job of updating the premise. The recent Turtles films are far from perfect, but in the cinema I saw how much the kids, the same age I was when I first saw it, were going crazy for it. Ghostbusters dealt with a lot of ignorant hate but gave a generation of girls something to get into. None of these were a waste of time for their true audience.

No one is going to take away ‘your’ version of a property. Leo will always be your leader, and Sonic can forever be short and stubby. That’s cool.

But how about we act like adults, wind our necks in, and let younger generations enjoy these ideas the same way we did. Maybe even support them and try to look at them through the kids’s eyes. Because let’s be honest, it’s not as though they were made for us purely for enjoyment in the first place.

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